Astola Island Balochistan – The Hidden Gem of Pakistan

Astola is Pakistan’s largest offshore island at approximately 6.7 km lengthy with a maximum width of 2.3 km and an area of about 6.7 km2. The highest point is 246 feet above sea level. Administratively, the island is part of the Pasni sub district of Gwadar District in Balochistan province. The island can be accessed via motorized boats from Pasni, with a journey time of approximately five hours to attain the island.

History

The earliest point out of Astola is in Arrian’s account of Admiral Nearchos, who became dispatched via Alexander the Great to explore the coast of the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf in 325 BCE. The sailors in Nearchos’s fleet were “frightened on the weird memories told about an uninhabited island, which Arrian calls Nosala”.

Geography

The island includes a huge tilted plateau and a series of 7 small hillocks (consequently the nearby name “Haft Talar” or “Seven Hills”), with deep chasms and crevices, which are several feet wide. There are numerous natural caves and coves at the island. The south face of the island slopes off progressively whereas the north face is cliff-like with a sharp vertical drop.

Ecology

Isolation has helped hold several endemic life bureaucracy on Astola. The endangered inexperienced turtle and the hawksbill turtle nest at the seaside on the foot of the cliffs. The island is likewise an critical area for endemic reptiles which include the Astola viper . The island is reported to support a large quantity of breeding water birds including coursers, curlews, godwit, gulls, plovers and sanderling. Feral cats, originally added via fishermen to control the endemic rodent population, pose an increasing hazard to natural world breeding sites. E.G. The sooty gull (Larus hemprichii) had a first-rate breeding colony on the island, now extirpated due to delivered rats.

Vegetation on the island is sparse and largely includes scrubs and big bushes. There aren’t any timber at the island. The biggest shrub at the island is Prosopis juliflora, which was added into South Asia in 1877 from South America. There isn’t any source of sparkling water on the island and the flora relies upon on occasional rainfall and soil moisture for survival. Astola is likewise domestic to coral reef.

Eco-tourism

Astola island is a famous but “hard” vacation spot for eco-tourism. Despite the fact that there are not any lodging facilities at the island. Overnight tourists have to camp on the island and convey their very own provisions. Camping, fishing and scuba-diving expeditions are famous. It is likewise a site for watching turtle breeding. There has been some damage to Astola’s ecology because of rats and domesticated cats left in the back of by fishermen, that have threatened fowl nesting sites and turtle hatcheries.

Astola Island is one of the most attractive and beautiful place to visit in Balochistan.

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